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Easy Utah Trails

Discussion in 'Trails - Events - Expeditions' started by ljerryd, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Hi there,
    I may be in Utah with a bone stock 07 GX this summer. Any mild scenic trails I could do within a few hours of SLC? Not looking for anything extreme (i.e. don't want to dig myself out) and will not have camping gear. Seems like a "DUH" question but we have only been to Arches and Zion on paved roads so far out that direction.

    TIA
     
  2. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    "Within a few hours of Salt Lake City" you have literally thousands of miles of trails that you could do. What are you looking for? Desert? Alpine forest? Lakes? Hikes? Waterfalls? Glaciers? Red Rock? When you say "a few hours", do you mean up to a 3 hour drive from SLC then any number of hours of off road adventure?

    -Skyline drive from Bountiful to Farmington fits the bill. You could do it after work hours and be home at a reasonable time.

    I started to make others. Post up a little more clearly what you are looking for. Check out ExpeditionUtah.com for some good ideas too.
     
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  3. Live to Ski

    Live to Ski

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    There is a offroad trail that cuts from Heber (park city) down to Soldier Summit (or there abouts).

    Super pretty, super mellow (did it in my super bone stock 60, fully loaded as typical for a ski bum end o season move (recall a weighed 1500# load).

    Would be a good overnighter...did I say super visually stunning (especially spring as I did that in June).

    PM me if you need help figuring the route out..
     
  4. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Thanks, Live to Ski, looks like it may be a nice ride if I am looking at the Google Earth correctly, but I am not interested in overnighting on the trail. Daytime only.
     
  5. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    @ljerryd, I'd love to help you if you can be more specific of what you want to see and how much time you want to be out. There are a lot of opportunities.
     
  6. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Sorry, I probably am not 100% sure what I am doing. I haven't done offroading of any sort since we ran through the strip mines in W. Pa in a home-made VW buggy 30+ years ago. I just bought my GX which is my first off-road capable vehicle. Didn't really buy it for off-roading, just liked the ride better than the 4Runners I drove. But since we will be in Utah for some family activities, it looks like I could spend 2 or 3 days exploring. I have been to Zion and Arches by car and loved them. Want to go to Capitol Reef and/or Bryce at some point. This trip? Maybe. Seems I read a magazine article about a trek through that area in a new 4Runner recently. Still would like to sleep in a hotel at night. Wife is done with camping. My other bucket listing is Speed Week at Bonneville some year. So I am all over the map! I guess I would like to see some sights that are "off the beaten path" without worrying whether I will get back to pavement before nightfall. Unrealistic???
     
  7. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Not at all. So, if I understand, you want to take 2-3 days exploring, but return to a hotel each night. That's totally doable. Do you want to see everything from the car, or do you want to get some hiking in?
     
  8. Live to Ski

    Live to Ski

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    ljerryd: The offroad part is an easy 1/2 day gig. Probably can do the slc/offroad/slc in 8 hrs.

    As mentioned, I did that w. fully loaded stock rig w/o camping. Think I made it to green river in 5 or so hrs (camped there). NOTE that at that time (june '06), no 4wd was required.
     
  9. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Light hiking would be ok, but nothing too intense.
    OK, I misunderstood. Does that trail have a name?
     
  10. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    A good easy trip for you would be 9 Mile canyon. The roads are graded and there are petroglyphs and runs right on the road or a short hike from it. You can stay in Price or Vernal. The start of that drive is about 2 hours outside of Salt Lake. 9 Mile canyon is actually about 45 miles long. Here's a link to a visitors guide.

    Nine Mile Canyon Map and Guide - Castle Country Utah

    Start in SLC and head to Myton, UT. (2 HRS 15 Minutes on the highway)
    Do the 9 Mile canyon drive, stay in Price.
    From Price head South. 2 great options:
    1. The wedge overlook: Wedge Overlook and Buckhorn Draw Backway
    Head West at Wellington towards Cleveland. A decent map will be your friend to get through the back roads. This is a graded road also, but there are some 4x4 roads that break off the main road. It's remote, but not so remote you're in danger when going solo. Head out Buckhorn Draw road to drive through high walled canyons with red cliffs and see the MK tunnels and more petroglyphs. For this route stay in Green River at a hotel after your day on the road.

    2. If you have 3 days you can do this after the wedge overlook. Head South from Green River on HWY 24 towards Hanksville. To to Goblin Valley State Park. It's worth the $10 entrance fee (maybe $15). Spend an hour or two with a light hike through the goblins. Leave the park and go North. At the point you would turn right to get back to the highway, go left and drive on the behind the reef road. There are 2 easy narrow canyons not too far in: Crack Canyon and Chute Canyon. The other slot canyons require some scrambling. These two have a couple places you have to climb up or down, but they're not too bad. If you don't want to hike this road continue for several (15?) Miles, out and back. Stay in Green River again or head back to Price. It's about 4 hours to Salt Lake from here.

    So far all of these routes are passable with a high clearance 2WD vehicle. Yours will be fine. For more driving adventure there's a network of roads that go from I-70 to Goblin Valley that may present more of the challenge you are looking for, but you may or may not see another car out there.

    If you want to do the wedge overlook head down to Capitol Reef. There's a ton to see down there. Upper Muley Twist on the Burr trail is a good drive and will exercise your GX a little, but you'll make it. Take the short overlook hike for spectacular views. Don't miss the double watch in the canyon. There are hotels in the highway West of Capitol Reef. You can get to them on hwy 12 after you've driven the scenic Burr trail or stay there and explore the park from the north end. It's about an hour to drive to the Burr trail from the north end.

    Head down hwy 12 and you have all of the Escalante National Monument to explore. Now you're 6 hours from salt lake. Hotels in Escalante, or head north and stop somewhere on the way back.
    -Hells backbone
    -Calf Creek falls
    -Hole in the rock road
     
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  11. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Wow! I feel like I have personal tour guides here! This is great stuff. I will have to check these out. MDarius and Live to Ski, thanks for being SO helpful!
     
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  12. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I had some confusing typos in this paragraph. Let me fix them:

    If you DON'T want to do the wedge overlook head down to Capitol Reef. There's a ton to see down there. Upper Muley Twist on the Burr trail is a good drive and will exercise your GX a little, but you'll make it. Take the short overlook hike for spectacular views. Don't miss the double ARCH in the canyon. There are hotels ON the highway West of Capitol Reef. You can get to them on hwy 12 after you've driven the scenic Burr trail or stay IN THESE HOTELS and explore the park from the north end. It's about an hour to drive to the Burr trail from the north end.
     
  13. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I would also recommend that if you do come out and you do decide to do any exploring, go to the Expedition Utah forum. There's a section there where you can post up your plans and seek out a travel buddy. There are a lot of people that would enjoy going with you, and it's always better to explore with a buddy. That group may have some other options to offer, or more details about what you'll see along the way. There is a lot of history and that old cabin or the indian ruins are a lot more interesting with a history behind them. Good luck!
     
  14. Live to Ski

    Live to Ski

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    ljerryd: Gotta say, I just suffered from "death by gps (er google)" when I digitally poked around to try and ID the trail. Lots of stuff out there. As I recall, there was only one or two forks encountered back when I did it (10 yrs ago).

    Seeings how I did the trip prior to gps/google (at least for me), using readily available paper maps (blm, usfs, ?), I'm sure one could digitally lay out a route.

    If you are seriously considering my suggestion, let me know and I will "dig deep" into my digital/paper history for route.
     
  15. SAS

    SAS Seeking higher vistas

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    @ljerryd I'm late to the discussion but figured I would provide you a resource for searching and viewing some of the trails identified above; I did several roads through central Utah last November including Cathedral Valley Loop, Wild Horse Road, and Factory Butte Road. These are all in vicinity of Goblin Valley State Park and Capitol Reef NP.

    There are also many in the Salt Lake City area if you want to 'day trip' from your base in the area. Some east of the valley are rated more difficult, but most west of the valley (Twelvemile Pass, East Tintic Mountain, Stansbury Cell Tower Road) are rated 'easy'.

    The site is free registration to view all the trail details (GPS track, waypoints with photos, videos, etc.). I write trail guides for the site in Colorado, we don't spam registered users with email.
     
  16. ljerryd

    ljerryd

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    Well, we finally had time last Friday to check out a trail close to SLC. We took MDARIUS' advice and went up to Farmington to Skyline Drive. VERY NICE! The GX470 was sure footed throughout. My only worry was the cheapo front tires the dealer installed when I bought it, but they held up well. About 10 miles in, heading toward Bountiful, the trail was still closed, so we turned around and went up the Dome access road. Altimeter on the GX read 8850 ft at the gate. Great Views of the Great Salt Lake and surrounding landscape! Thanks Everyone for all your suggestions! I want to go back ASAP! IMG_5579.JPG IMG_5590.JPG IMG_5598.JPG IMG_5603.JPG
     
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